Standing out in a competitive industry is one of the most challenging tasks facing today’s business owner. With the rise in social media, online presences, and reviews from customers, it can be more challenging than ever to create and maintain a strong brand presence that appeals to customers while standing apart from the sea of competitors. Understanding how to identify with your customers and help them feel valued is an important first step.
Look at Successful Brands
When you think of some of the most successful brands in the world, it’s clear that these brands have stiff competition. For example, Nike sells athletic apparel and footwear. Many other companies offer similar products, but Nike has been able to stand out among its competitors because of its strong branding, endorsements with successful athletes, and catchy slogans. Apple is one of many electronics manufacturers, and yet the simplicity of its marketing and products has appealed to millions of people over the years.
Identify Your Positioning
Now that you’ve compared notes with some of the top brands in your industry, the next step is establishing a unique position for your brand. This position should resonate with potential stakeholders while attracting and appealing to customers. Every aspect of your brand’s product or service should be rooted in that positioning to better speak to potential customers and give them an idea of what you’re offering.
Look back at the Nike example with its slogan of “Just Do It.” This resonates with customers in the athletic apparel market as they often want to push themselves harder and achieve greater physical results. Another example is Nordstrom, which leans into its exceptional customer service when positioning its brand. No matter what your business offers, it should be clearly identified and positioned properly to stand out.
Use the Customer Experience
Every brand has unique aspects, and one of these is the customer experience. Your customer won’t have the same experience shopping at your site or store as they would if they visited one of your competitor’s. It’s important to use that to your advantage, especially if the feedback from your customers is positive. Testimonials, online reviews, and other feedback from real customers can go a long way when you’re helping to differentiate your brand.
Maintain a Personal Feel
Small businesses tend to excel when it comes to maintaining the personal touch that helps a customer feel valued. Even if your business is growing, it’s always worthwhile to offer something that provides that personalized touch to your customers. For example, Coca-Cola launched its successful “Share a Coke” campaign that allowed customers to find cans and bottles of soft drinks with their names and their loved ones’ names on them, helping them to feel like the brand made that drink just for them.
You can maintain a personal feel with your customers as well. Write a thank-you note and send it to a customer who referred someone else to your business. Offer a small gift to come back and make a repeat purchase.
Differentiating your brand is a long-term goal for most companies, so keep working at it to achieve greater success. Personalizing your marketing to the customer will help you stand out from the crowd and appeal to your target audience. That will help you know that your efforts were worthwhile.